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The Food Matters Cookbook: 500 Revolutionary Recipes for Better Living

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From the award-winning champion of conscious eating and author of the bestselling Food Matters comes The Food Matters Cookbook, offering the most comprehensive and straightforward ideas yet for cooking easy, delicious foods that are as good for you as they are for the planet. The Food Matters Cookbook is the essential encyclopedia and guidebook to responsible eating, with From the award-winning champion of conscious eating and author of the bestselling Food Matters comes The Food Matters Cookbook, offering the most comprehensive and straightforward ideas yet for cooking easy, delicious foods that are as good for you as they are for the planet. The Food Matters Cookbook is the essential encyclopedia and guidebook to responsible eating, with more than 500 recipes that capture Bittman’s typically relaxed approach to everything in the kitchen. There is no finger-wagging here, just a no-nonsense and highly flexible case for eating more plants while cutting back on animal products, processed food, and of course junk. But for Bittman, flipping the ratio of your diet to something more virtuous and better for your body doesn’t involve avoiding any foods—indeed, there is no sacrifice here. Since his own health prompted him to change his diet, Bittman has perfected cooking tasty, creative, and forward-thinking dishes based on vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Meat and other animal products are often included—but no longer as the centerpiece. In fact the majority of these recipes include fish, poultry, meat, eggs, or dairy, using them for their flavor, texture, and satisfying nature without depending on them for bulk. Roasted Pork Shoulder with Potatoes, Apples, and Onions and Linguine with Cherry Tomatoes and Clams are perfect examples. Many sound downright decadent: Pasta with Asparagus, Bacon, and Egg; Stuffed Pizza with Broccoli, White Beans, and Sausage; or Roasted Butternut Chowder with Apples and Bacon, for example. There are vegetarian recipes, too, and they have flair without being complicated—recipes like Beet Tartare, Lentil "Caviar" with All the Trimmings, Radish-Walnut Tea Sandwiches, and Succotash Salad. Bittman is a firm believer in snacking, but in the right way. Instead of packaged cookies or greasy chips, Bittman suggests Seasoned Popcorn with Grated Parmesan or Fruit and Cereal Bites. Nor does he skimp on desserts; rather, he focuses on fruit, good-quality chocolate, nuts, and whole-grain flours, using minimal amounts of eggs, butter, and other fats. That allows for a whole chapter devoted to sweets, including Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookies, Apricot Polenta Cake, Brownie Cake, and Coconut Tart with Chocolate Smear. True to the fuss-free style that has made him famous, Bittman offers plenty of variations and substitutions that let you take advantage of foods that are in season—or those that just happen to be in the fridge. A quick-but-complete rundown on ingredients tells you how to find sustainable and flavorful meat and shop for dairy products, grains, and vegetables without wasting money on fancy organic labels. He indicates which recipes you can make ahead, those that are sure to become pantry staples, and which ones can be put together in a flash. And because Bittman is always comprehensive, he makes sure to include the building-block recipes for the basics of home cooking: from fast stocks, roasted garlic, pizza dough, and granola to pots of cooked rice and beans and whole-grain quick breads. With a tone that is easygoing and non-doctrinaire, Bittman demonstrates the satisfaction and pleasure in mindful eating. The result is not just better health for you, but for the world we all share.


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From the award-winning champion of conscious eating and author of the bestselling Food Matters comes The Food Matters Cookbook, offering the most comprehensive and straightforward ideas yet for cooking easy, delicious foods that are as good for you as they are for the planet. The Food Matters Cookbook is the essential encyclopedia and guidebook to responsible eating, with From the award-winning champion of conscious eating and author of the bestselling Food Matters comes The Food Matters Cookbook, offering the most comprehensive and straightforward ideas yet for cooking easy, delicious foods that are as good for you as they are for the planet. The Food Matters Cookbook is the essential encyclopedia and guidebook to responsible eating, with more than 500 recipes that capture Bittman’s typically relaxed approach to everything in the kitchen. There is no finger-wagging here, just a no-nonsense and highly flexible case for eating more plants while cutting back on animal products, processed food, and of course junk. But for Bittman, flipping the ratio of your diet to something more virtuous and better for your body doesn’t involve avoiding any foods—indeed, there is no sacrifice here. Since his own health prompted him to change his diet, Bittman has perfected cooking tasty, creative, and forward-thinking dishes based on vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Meat and other animal products are often included—but no longer as the centerpiece. In fact the majority of these recipes include fish, poultry, meat, eggs, or dairy, using them for their flavor, texture, and satisfying nature without depending on them for bulk. Roasted Pork Shoulder with Potatoes, Apples, and Onions and Linguine with Cherry Tomatoes and Clams are perfect examples. Many sound downright decadent: Pasta with Asparagus, Bacon, and Egg; Stuffed Pizza with Broccoli, White Beans, and Sausage; or Roasted Butternut Chowder with Apples and Bacon, for example. There are vegetarian recipes, too, and they have flair without being complicated—recipes like Beet Tartare, Lentil "Caviar" with All the Trimmings, Radish-Walnut Tea Sandwiches, and Succotash Salad. Bittman is a firm believer in snacking, but in the right way. Instead of packaged cookies or greasy chips, Bittman suggests Seasoned Popcorn with Grated Parmesan or Fruit and Cereal Bites. Nor does he skimp on desserts; rather, he focuses on fruit, good-quality chocolate, nuts, and whole-grain flours, using minimal amounts of eggs, butter, and other fats. That allows for a whole chapter devoted to sweets, including Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookies, Apricot Polenta Cake, Brownie Cake, and Coconut Tart with Chocolate Smear. True to the fuss-free style that has made him famous, Bittman offers plenty of variations and substitutions that let you take advantage of foods that are in season—or those that just happen to be in the fridge. A quick-but-complete rundown on ingredients tells you how to find sustainable and flavorful meat and shop for dairy products, grains, and vegetables without wasting money on fancy organic labels. He indicates which recipes you can make ahead, those that are sure to become pantry staples, and which ones can be put together in a flash. And because Bittman is always comprehensive, he makes sure to include the building-block recipes for the basics of home cooking: from fast stocks, roasted garlic, pizza dough, and granola to pots of cooked rice and beans and whole-grain quick breads. With a tone that is easygoing and non-doctrinaire, Bittman demonstrates the satisfaction and pleasure in mindful eating. The result is not just better health for you, but for the world we all share.

30 review for The Food Matters Cookbook: 500 Revolutionary Recipes for Better Living

  1. 5 out of 5

    Karen Witzler

    Clear directions. Healthy recipes with standard ingredients. Each time I open it I find new things to try. Great for novice cooks or single folk trying to eat more healthfully. One day I am going to make the homemade cornflake-like breakfast cereal. Borrowed from the library, but I'm going to buy a copy.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Steven Peterson

    Another in Mark Bittman's corpus of work. I have always enjoyed his cookbooks, and I have incorporated a number of his recipes into my cooking "cycle." This book focuses on healthier dishes. Early on, he notes (Page ix): "If you swap the basic proportions in your diet--increasing unprocessed fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and whole grains--you'll wind up losing your weight and improving your overall health. . . ." One thing that he aims to do in this cookbook is to reduce the percentage of ca Another in Mark Bittman's corpus of work. I have always enjoyed his cookbooks, and I have incorporated a number of his recipes into my cooking "cycle." This book focuses on healthier dishes. Early on, he notes (Page ix): "If you swap the basic proportions in your diet--increasing unprocessed fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and whole grains--you'll wind up losing your weight and improving your overall health. . . ." One thing that he aims to do in this cookbook is to reduce the percentage of calories coming from animal based food or highly processed food. The recipes come in several categories here: appetizers and snacks, soups, salads and dressings, pasta (and noodles and dumplings), rice and grains, beans, vegetables, bread (and pizza and sandwiches and wraps), and desserts and sweet snacks. While Bittman's recipes cut the amount of meat, he does not present us with a vegetarian/Vegan cookbook. There is a provision for meat or seafood or poultry in a number of the recipes. All in all, an interesting cookbook if you wish to improve the quality of your diet. Recipes are doable. Some seem to me to be fairly bland. But it is a tradeoff--health versus our acquired taste for highly processed food and too much meat.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Gail Cooke

    In his opening remarks author Mark Bittman mentioned that he had been writing about food for 30 years noted that the American diet had “undergone some changes, few of them for the better.” At about the same time Mr. Bittman had also experienced some changes - he was over weight, his blood sugar and cholesterol were up, he had sleep apnea, and recently underwent knee surgery. His doctor suggested he become a vegan. Of course, Mr. Bittman strenuously objected to this suggestion, reminding the doct In his opening remarks author Mark Bittman mentioned that he had been writing about food for 30 years noted that the American diet had “undergone some changes, few of them for the better.” At about the same time Mr. Bittman had also experienced some changes - he was over weight, his blood sugar and cholesterol were up, he had sleep apnea, and recently underwent knee surgery. His doctor suggested he become a vegan. Of course, Mr. Bittman strenuously objected to this suggestion, reminding the doctor that he was a food writer. The doctor’s reply? He reminded him that he was a smart guy and that his condition was serious. “Figure something out” was the doctor’s injunction. As we now know Mr. Bittman more than figured something out. With his bestseller FOOD MATTERS he brought to light the impossible amount of meat we consume and the ensuing effects on both our health and environment. He devised a plan for addressing these issues. Now, with THE FOOD MATTERS COOKBOOK he provides us with 500 recipes that are not only a pleasure for our palates but also intelligent choices that are healthful and environmentally friendly. His focus is on grains, vegetables, and legumes, reminding us that in no time this way of eating will become natural to us as we “shift the proportions of what you eat and make your diet as plant-heavy as you can.” Bittman tells us it is a case of seeing and presenting animal products as garnishes rather than the main dish. We’re not giving up meat, we’re simply rethinking the way we eat it. If there’s anyone who doubts that these recipes are not gourmet quality, just taste Pasta with Cumin-Scented Squash and Lamb or Kohlrabi Stir-Fry with Pork, plus a multitude of others. Not at all dictatorial in suggesting we change our eating habits, Mr. Bittman says, “Sane eating is about moderation, not deprivation, so feel free to eat the foods you’d miss, just in smaller portions and less frequently.” THE FOOD MATTERS COOKBOOK makes responsible, good sense - enjoy!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie Bostic

    Full Disclosure: I’m a Mark Bittman fan. While I am generally inept as a fan, I managed to actually read his “Minimalist” columns regularly for years on end. In me, that translates to serious devotion. So simply seeing his name on the cover could have, possibly, biased me. Just a little. In spite of any potential bias, his most recent addition to bookshelves everywhere is a pleasure. While providing the reader with carefully written, elegent but simple recipes, Mark (if I may take the liberty) pr Full Disclosure: I’m a Mark Bittman fan. While I am generally inept as a fan, I managed to actually read his “Minimalist” columns regularly for years on end. In me, that translates to serious devotion. So simply seeing his name on the cover could have, possibly, biased me. Just a little. In spite of any potential bias, his most recent addition to bookshelves everywhere is a pleasure. While providing the reader with carefully written, elegent but simple recipes, Mark (if I may take the liberty) provides a range of flavors from around the world. From Italy to North Africa and Thailand to Argentina, classics are adopted and remade into healthful and guilt-free dishes. Seriously, there are a plethora of recipes that assuage any type of food-guilt you may have: environmental, social, animal welfare, health, financial, and many are even wickedly allergy friendly. Adaptations and variations are encouraged, making it easy to use locally produced or more affordable ingredients. Some of the receipes have meat and fish in them, but many do not and most could be adapted to vegetarian with little thought or effort. From the basics (Vinaigrette and All-purpose Tomato Sauce) to the complex (Crisp Noodle Cake and Zucchini Cornmeal Fritters with Yogurt-Dill Sauce), there are recipes for everyone. I couldn’t make it through the appetizer chapter without flagging half the recipes, and only found myself disappointed in the Soups section because there was a predominance of tomatoes. As I’m not a tomato-eater, it is not a chapter for me. But others may find it pleasing. One goals for my vacation week is to make handful of receipes from the book. Crispy Rice Treats were delicious, but given that I couldn’t quite follow the recipe, no longer attributable. Polenta Cakes with Garlicky Mushrooms were very delicious even though my polenta making technique leaves something to be desired. The “crispy” squares melted into blobs, and then into just plain baked polenta. The mushrooms, however, were brillant in their simplicity and more than compensated for any polenta imperfections. The Mini-Potato Parmesan Rostis were very decent fresh from the oven, but considerably better cold for supper the next night. The Cauliflower, North African style was quite reminscent of my ventures into Moroccan cooking but overly heavy on the coriander and too light on the chil powder. Just a touch would have brought out the lemon and parsley. I do sometimes have trouble following a recipe, though, and found that the Pasta with Cumin-scented Butternut Squash and Lamb was another one I felt the need to modify dramatically. Partly, because I only wanted to get one pan dirty but also because my aunt left me no onions. My version, with chick-peas instead of pasta, no onion, added cabbage, and no tomato paste was pretty good. If I make it again, I’ll measure and post it up. The point of this anecdote is that the recipes presented are also excellent fodder for your own creations. Given that most of them are relatively simple, you can easily take elements and replace them or utilize substitutions. The Cooking Matters Cookbook ranks fairly high on my list. While it’s not the first and only cookbook you should own, I would rank it among the top ten, or five if you have vegan and carnivore friends who attend the same potlucks or dinner parties. It’s definitely making my birthday list for this year.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Academama

    This is a useful and interesting cookbook, and it's given me lots of ideas for reducing our consumption of animal products. My biggest peeve about it is that it has no pictures; I really like a cookbook to have pictures, partly because it's hard for me to imagine what a finished dish is like without a photo. It also doesn't have nutrition information, which is unsurprising: Bittman advocates changing the way you think about food, and he's not a portion-counter, plus these recipes are mostly a bi This is a useful and interesting cookbook, and it's given me lots of ideas for reducing our consumption of animal products. My biggest peeve about it is that it has no pictures; I really like a cookbook to have pictures, partly because it's hard for me to imagine what a finished dish is like without a photo. It also doesn't have nutrition information, which is unsurprising: Bittman advocates changing the way you think about food, and he's not a portion-counter, plus these recipes are mostly a bit loose, with lots of flexibility for changing ingredients or proportions. So it's not that I think the book NEEDS nutrition information, or that the audience of it is really looking for that info, but I personally would love to have it. The recipes are generally easy to cook and useful, though, and I expect to make many meals from this book. I have already used the recipes in the back of "Food Matters" a lot, and I think this will expand my repertoire. I also appreciate the basic directions on cooking beans and whole grains, both of which can be a bit mysterious for most home cooks (including me).

  6. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    I love his Washington Post column, so I figured this cookbook would be worth a look. Bittman, like a lot of recent cookbook authors, encourages the reader to eat more fruit/veg/whole grains, and rely less on red meat and processed food. I think it is a great plan, though one that a lot of Americans may have a hard time adjusting to, simply because of the ease and simplicity that processed foods allow them. I loved that his recipes were easy and could be easily changed to add more ingredients. I I love his Washington Post column, so I figured this cookbook would be worth a look. Bittman, like a lot of recent cookbook authors, encourages the reader to eat more fruit/veg/whole grains, and rely less on red meat and processed food. I think it is a great plan, though one that a lot of Americans may have a hard time adjusting to, simply because of the ease and simplicity that processed foods allow them. I loved that his recipes were easy and could be easily changed to add more ingredients. I will end up copying about 12 pages of recipes from the cookbook, including a Mashed Cannellini/Potatoes with Gorgonzola, homemade Whole Wheat Chapatis/Tortillas, and Noodles with Gingered Carrots and Miso. 5 stars.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Judy

    I love Mark Bittman. He is smart, he writes well, and he has a passion for delicious, but simple-to-make food. His recipes are easy to follow, and he almost always suggests variations on the recipe. This book is a companion to his book "Food Matters," which has a message similar to that of Michael Pollan. Bittman believes that you can eat healthy, earth friendly meals by cutting back on meat and adding more whole grains and vegetables. Even some people I know (they will remain nameless) who have I love Mark Bittman. He is smart, he writes well, and he has a passion for delicious, but simple-to-make food. His recipes are easy to follow, and he almost always suggests variations on the recipe. This book is a companion to his book "Food Matters," which has a message similar to that of Michael Pollan. Bittman believes that you can eat healthy, earth friendly meals by cutting back on meat and adding more whole grains and vegetables. Even some people I know (they will remain nameless) who have a knee-jerk reaction to vegetarian and whole grain recipes - even those people like the results of his recipes. I have been relying on this for a while now - just forgot to add it to my list.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Cat

    Recipes and advice from Mark Bittman's NY Times column and his Today Show appearances. These feature healthful options with reduced sugar and fats but are pretty heavy on refined carbs. Not very inspiring—in fact, many of these dishes look like upscale rabbit food. Not impressed.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Pam

    When I saw that Mark Bittman had a new cookbook out, I hesitated. I already have 5 of his books, did I really need another 500 recipes from him? The answer to that is a resounding yes! This book is for anyone who is trying to eat healthier. And really, who isn't? I don't know anyone who goes around saying, "I'm going to eat more processed foods and slurp canned soda!" This book is exactly how I would like to eat more often grains and beans, less meat, more fruits and veggies. The book ope When I saw that Mark Bittman had a new cookbook out, I hesitated. I already have 5 of his books, did I really need another 500 recipes from him? The answer to that is a resounding yes! This book is for anyone who is trying to eat healthier. And really, who isn't? I don't know anyone who goes around saying, "I'm going to eat more processed foods and slurp canned soda!" This book is exactly how I would like to eat more often grains and beans, less meat, more fruits and veggies. The book opens up a section on why food matters. If you have already read his Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating with More Than 75 Recipes, you can skip this part, in fact he tells you that you can skip it, but I read it again, to remind myself of how and why I want to eat better. Then he goes into stocking your pantry and finishes the intro by explaining his icon rating of recipes: fast, make-ahead, and pantry staple. In typical Bittman fashion, he has the recipes in the back also listed by their icon. So, if you were looking to make a fast recipe, there they are all. The recipe chapters are: Appetizers and Snacks, Soups, Salads and Dressings, Pasta Noodles and Dumplings, Rice and Grains, Beans, Vegetables, Bread Pizza Sandwiches and Wraps, Desserts and Sweet Snacks. I have been poring over this book, making lists of recipes that I want to try, finally giving up, because there are just too many! Here are a few, I have marked to try soon: Raw Butternut Squash Salad with Cranberry Dressing Roasted Pork Shoulder with Potatoes, Apples and Onions Baked Pumpkin Orange Custard Chipotle Glazed Squash Skewers Roasted Sweet Potato Salad Mushroom and Pasta Frittata Pasta with Smoky Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Bacon As a confirmed carb lover, the pasta section alone is worth the price of the book. Every single recipe sounds great. I haven't made anything out of the book yet, (I'll be making the Sweet Potato and Bacon Pasta next week), but I don't have to. I've cooked enough, read enough cookbooks and cooked enough Bittman recipes to tell that these are winners. They are easy. They are healthy.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    The idea of The Food Matters Cookbook is simple: eat fewer animal products and processed foods; eat more whole grains, nuts, legumes, fruits and vegetables. There are lots of reasons you might want to eat this way, and Bittman mentions a few in his introduction (health, ethics, environment), but this really is a cookbook, not a polemic. I checked this book out from the library but I think I want to buy it: I've made six recipes and each has been a success, and I keep finding more recipes I want The idea of The Food Matters Cookbook is simple: eat fewer animal products and processed foods; eat more whole grains, nuts, legumes, fruits and vegetables. There are lots of reasons you might want to eat this way, and Bittman mentions a few in his introduction (health, ethics, environment), but this really is a cookbook, not a polemic. I checked this book out from the library but I think I want to buy it: I've made six recipes and each has been a success, and I keep finding more recipes I want to make. The recipes are generally straightforward (ingredients-wise and process-wise), and there's a decent balance of quick and easy recipes and more time consuming ones. I'm not too likely to make many desserts from this book (I like my desserts classic/decadent, no whole wheat flours please), but there's enough other stuff I want to make that this is probably still worth buying. So far I've made: - Roasted cooked chickpeas tossed with five-spice powder - Chipotle-glazed roasted butternut squash - Butternut squash + apple chowder - Curried tomato soup (with coconut milk, mm) - Broccoli marinated with vinegar and mustard (from the "crisp marinated Brussels sprouts" recipe) - Black bean and rice soup with carrot relish Up next: - Baked mushroom-sesame rice balls - Pasta with smashed peas, prosciutto, and scallions

  11. 4 out of 5

    Marya Kowal

    Clear, interesting, and the recipes were very good. The section on substitutions was very helpful, since I needed suggestions for "firm white fish" for the fish kabob recipe. I visited the list of good fish at the recommended Monterey Aquarium site, and went to the fish counter at my grocer. She recommended catfish, and the fish kabobs turned out great! Even my kids liked them. It certainly adds an occasional fish dish for a family who isn't fond of fish. My family likes the recipes, and I feel go Clear, interesting, and the recipes were very good. The section on substitutions was very helpful, since I needed suggestions for "firm white fish" for the fish kabob recipe. I visited the list of good fish at the recommended Monterey Aquarium site, and went to the fish counter at my grocer. She recommended catfish, and the fish kabobs turned out great! Even my kids liked them. It certainly adds an occasional fish dish for a family who isn't fond of fish. My family likes the recipes, and I feel good knowing we are eating healthier. There's a huge number of recipes here, and so many to try. We have added the Mexican Street Corn dish to our weekly rotation. My husband refers to it as "culinary crack"! I have to make a double batch, it's so popular! The spices and flavors are intense enough that you can eliminate or reduce your meat consumption without feeling deprived. This one is a keeper, for sure.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Molly Lingenfelter

    This was a gift, and I wasn't familiar with Mark Bittman before, so his approach was new to me. In a nutshell: eat less meat, more grains and veggies. There's nothing spectacularly entertaining about his prose, and as other reviews have noted, no photographs. However, I've been cooking almost exclusively out of the cookbook for the past few weeks, and the recipes are good, the food healthy. I tend to like highly-seasoned food, so a few of the pasta dishes have been too bland for me; my three kids This was a gift, and I wasn't familiar with Mark Bittman before, so his approach was new to me. In a nutshell: eat less meat, more grains and veggies. There's nothing spectacularly entertaining about his prose, and as other reviews have noted, no photographs. However, I've been cooking almost exclusively out of the cookbook for the past few weeks, and the recipes are good, the food healthy. I tend to like highly-seasoned food, so a few of the pasta dishes have been too bland for me; my three kids, however, have eaten everything I've made so far without complaining (small miracle). The soups have been my favorites. The vegetable soup was really good, and the lentil soup, made from the roasted vegetable stock recipe, was excellent. The granola recipe's one of the better ones I've tried. This cookbook will be in heavy rotation for me.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Stacy

    This is a great book to have for basic recipes that are heavy on vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. They don’t call Bittman the Minimalist for nothing! His recipes are simple and reverse the typical ratio of meat to vegetables, so that meat is treated more as a garnish. If you are interested in eating less meat, or eating more of the healthy foods you know you should, this book is a great place to start, especially if you’re not interested in meat substitutes. You’ll hardly miss the meat wit This is a great book to have for basic recipes that are heavy on vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. They don’t call Bittman the Minimalist for nothing! His recipes are simple and reverse the typical ratio of meat to vegetables, so that meat is treated more as a garnish. If you are interested in eating less meat, or eating more of the healthy foods you know you should, this book is a great place to start, especially if you’re not interested in meat substitutes. You’ll hardly miss the meat with Bittman’s method. I have already enjoyed his easy “Stir-Wait-Pour-Bake” method of making Real Whole Wheat Bread, and made Whole Wheat Pita Bread for fast lunches. I look forward to trying many more recipes from this book

  14. 4 out of 5

    Naomi

    I've tried a few recipes in this book and have my eye on many more. I appreciate his emphasis on healthy dishes without venturing into blandness or preachiness. Much of the content seems common sense or knowledge that should have been passed down to me by former generations but, for some reason, did not. His variations, as always, are great for someone like me who fears to venture outside the culinary box but wants to use ingredients on hand. I made the almost whole wheat crackers the other day I've tried a few recipes in this book and have my eye on many more. I appreciate his emphasis on healthy dishes without venturing into blandness or preachiness. Much of the content seems common sense or knowledge that should have been passed down to me by former generations but, for some reason, did not. His variations, as always, are great for someone like me who fears to venture outside the culinary box but wants to use ingredients on hand. I made the almost whole wheat crackers the other day and was ridiculously pleased with how simple it was and how delicious they turned out to be. I borrowed the book from the library and am now sufficiently hooked on it enough to buy it. I have a feeling this is going to soon be a favorite go-to cookbook along with New Basics and Joy of Cooking.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sidra

    The great thing about Mark Bittman is that he is a former foodie and so he still eats foods that are somewhat off-limits, but he eats them much less. He is also a great cook, so his recipes are great! If you are trying to eat less meat, dairy, sugar, and refined grains than his recipes are fantastic to help you transition. I've also found them useful for helping my children to transition to a plant-based diet. I have to alter some of them for myself because I am trying to eat absolutely NO dairy The great thing about Mark Bittman is that he is a former foodie and so he still eats foods that are somewhat off-limits, but he eats them much less. He is also a great cook, so his recipes are great! If you are trying to eat less meat, dairy, sugar, and refined grains than his recipes are fantastic to help you transition. I've also found them useful for helping my children to transition to a plant-based diet. I have to alter some of them for myself because I am trying to eat absolutely NO dairy, white flour, and refined sugar, but I think that his way of eating is very sustainable (pun intended) for the average American.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Deb

    Love Mark Bittman and this follow up to Food Matters. Following the same philosophy for eating in a mindful way that is better for our bodies, health and the planet, Bittman has assembled over 500 recipes--heavy in natural unprocessed foods, vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, beans, and nuts. Animal products play a minor role. I have currently only tried making the Tropical Oatstacks from the desserts section (you can see them here: http://kahakaikitchen.blogspot.com/20...) but I have ton Love Mark Bittman and this follow up to Food Matters. Following the same philosophy for eating in a mindful way that is better for our bodies, health and the planet, Bittman has assembled over 500 recipes--heavy in natural unprocessed foods, vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, beans, and nuts. Animal products play a minor role. I have currently only tried making the Tropical Oatstacks from the desserts section (you can see them here: http://kahakaikitchen.blogspot.com/20...) but I have tons of recipes tagged to make and have seen some excellent offerings throughout the Blog world from this book.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    I originally rated this 5 stars because the 20-25 recipes I had tried to date were winners. Just downgraded it to 4 stars because I'm starting to find recipes with mistakes or instructions that are really unclear (I am not a beginning cook). I love the selection of recipes and the fact that Bittman's recipes actually use an amount of spice that can be tasted. Even on the recipes that don't get, "Please make this again," from Chris, he typically goes back for seconds, and I'm fine with that for he I originally rated this 5 stars because the 20-25 recipes I had tried to date were winners. Just downgraded it to 4 stars because I'm starting to find recipes with mistakes or instructions that are really unclear (I am not a beginning cook). I love the selection of recipes and the fact that Bittman's recipes actually use an amount of spice that can be tasted. Even on the recipes that don't get, "Please make this again," from Chris, he typically goes back for seconds, and I'm fine with that for healthy recipes!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Hanako

    seriously am so excited to make at least half of these recipes. one of the best parts is, since he uses generally normal ingredients - i can actually get them here in gabon. so i am excited to try. i have tried two so far, one was really good, the other was not bad, though i think we'd adjust the seasonings more next time. i have never been a huge meat eater, but have been leaning towards eating even less since i read food matters. so i'm thrilled to have so many new recipes to help me in this t seriously am so excited to make at least half of these recipes. one of the best parts is, since he uses generally normal ingredients - i can actually get them here in gabon. so i am excited to try. i have tried two so far, one was really good, the other was not bad, though i think we'd adjust the seasonings more next time. i have never been a huge meat eater, but have been leaning towards eating even less since i read food matters. so i'm thrilled to have so many new recipes to help me in this trend.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Megan Heberlein

    The first time I flipped through this cookbook I was amazed at how many of the recipes were different from what I was already doing, and how many looked fantastic! I love Bittman's approach to healthier eating: Simply eat more plant matter, a bit less meat, and switch some of that meat out for veggie proteins. With this we can not only eat better, but make positive waves on the environment. Works for me!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn

    Love checking out cookbooks from the library and this one seems great - just the kind of recipes I would make if . . . my husband and kids wouldn't cry, beg, mutiny every time we sat down to eat. Bittman's main premise is less meat and more veggies. The recipes look great. Didn't actually make any, however, so this review is not helpful in that regard. Maybe in a few years I'll revisit . . . in the meantime, I'll baby step in that direction.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Renee

    I like Bittman's approach to cooking and I like the sound of his recipes. I can see how his approach is great for folks maintaining their weight or losing a small amount over time. Some of the recipes even look appropriate for weight loss, but it is a little tricky since nutrition facts are not provided. Pretty much I just have to get my act together and identify some of the recipes I want to try.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Darragh

    I love this cookbook. Great tasting recipes with Bittman's trademark clarity and flexibility. And you can feel really food about eating this way - for your own health, your own pocketbook, the health of the planet- all with very little badgering or pedantic rants. So you still want to eat a little meat go for it. If we all in America started to eat this way we'd be skinnier, healthier, there'd be way less cows,and way more oat fields.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sherry

    Mark Bittman is my hero. Check out my review on How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. This book and his two How to Cook Everything books are pretty much the only cookbooks I use. I love cookbooks and buy them compulsively, but when it's time to menu plan or find a dish for an upcoming potluck, it's always Bittman I turn to.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Elise Dubois

    We used this book for the library cook book club for the month of March. I made the peas, pasta, and prosciutto recipe. I wasn't impressed with the book in general. A cookbook without pictures doesn't make sense. Also several of the recipes that were tried turned out to have to much salt. This cookbook definitely isn't good for someone on a low-carb diet. We found some other flavors to be okay and some to be very odd. Overall we just weren't impressed with the cookbook.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    I just tried to cook the skillet tamales recipe. It has been a long time since I've had a cooking disaster this bad. The cornmeal instructions were clearly incorrect - googling around, folks are making this recipe with much less water. Perhaps the other recipes are fine, but I'm not going to stick around to find out.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Wendy

    I'm a huge Bittman fan; I read his NYT column regularly. I'm enjoying this new collection and thinking about how I eat and cook. Haven't tried any of the recipes yet, but Bittman never disappoints. I've also added Bittman's "How to cook everything vegetarian" and the "Veganomicon" by Sa Chandra Moskowitz. Look out vegtables, here I come!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    I've only made a few recipes from this book. The chili mac. The whole wheat waffles with fruit. The Black Tea infused beef stirfry. All of these were good solid recipes. Lots of flavor. Lots of veggies. I like that Bittman shows us how to make good tasting healthy food. I have many more of his recipes to try but so far I give this book a solid A.

  28. 5 out of 5

    A

    My all-time favorite is Bittman's HOW TO COOK EVERYTHING VEGETARIAN. This book talks about food, diets, how to eat healthy, and has recipes in addition to the information/advice. Most people who are conscious about their diets, and who have read other books about food, like by Michael Mollan and Barbara Kingsolver, probably know all of this information already.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Tim Williams

    I love this cookbook, especially for its introductory content about the relationship between our individual and collective diets and the environment. I give it 4 stars only because of the lack of food pictures. I also have and LOVE his "How to Cook Everything," which is more fun to read because of the pictures.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    I wouldn't mind a copy but @ $35 for the hardcover it'll have to wait. He's got good recipes & theories but for someone who's unemployed & single it's not practical right now. I do recommend it to foodies & anyone wanting to eat more locally. (Mom hears an obvious hint: borrow it from the Ottumwa library or get a copy for yourself.) :-)

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